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How to Find your Passion (& What You Should be Blogging About)

In this post Glen Allsopp from Pluginid.com takes a look at passion and how to choose what to write about. I’ve included a few links to other posts on this topic below also. Image by Dario.

Passion

“Don’t do it for the money, do it because you love it!”

Sound familiar? It should do, because almost every blog about blogging has said something along the same lines. No disrespect to them though, I completely agree with the point that bloggers should write about what they love, not just what is making money for others.

Sounds great, right? Well, I’ve actually begun to understand that not everybody knows what their passion is. Not everybody knows what it is they should be blogging about. That is why we see 100 John Chow clones and niche saturation where it is clear bloggers are writing for the money.

Why Money is a Bad Goal

You can be as spiritual or as “un-materialistic” as you want, but in a practical world we all need money to survive. So then why is it bad to blog in a niche where there is a lot of money to be made, just because you have no interest? That’s easy:

  • You don’t have the value or expertise to offer others
  • It’s likely you don’t have relevant personal experiences that readers can relate to
  • You will struggle to find the motivation to write and to come up with post ideas

You can hear the following quote time and time again, but 99 out of 100 people who read it won’t believe it until they experience it themselves.

“It took me 5 brand new cars to realise they weren’t making me happy, as soon as I parked them for the first time I thought ‘what now?’”

- Russell Simmons (Def Jam Records & Phat Farm Clothing)

If there is large financial potential in the niche you are passionate about then that is great. Or, if you are interested in learning to make money online and want to write about your journey then that is fine too. However, don’t get sucked into writing about something because people are making money doing so.

They say that money can’t buy you happiness, but I believe sharing your knowledge on a subject you love certainly can. Just imagine the feeling of helping the world through your expertise, writing about something you love and making money in the process…you get the point.

Finding your Passion

I wrote about a similar topic on my own blog recently so I’m not going to copy that here. What I am going to show you is some quick questions you can ask yourself to reveal what it is you love.

Before I do that, I want to make clear that your passion may change, but don’t wait till you think you know what it is. What I mean is that if you are really passionate about poker right now, your interests may change in the future and you might turn to digital photography. Don’t wait until you are certain you are going to stay passionate about something, the joy of life is our ever-changing interests. The worst case scenario is that you can pay others to keep the blog going if your passion does change or simply sell it and start a new one; not a bad worst case scenario ;).

Note: Read the following questions and actually write down your answers. That way you can get the most out of this exercise.

1. If you could make the same amount of money blogging about any subject, what would it be?

2. Which subjects are you most knowledgeable about?

3. For the subjects in Question 2, would you blog about any of them even for no financial gain?

That is it, those are the three main questions you need to ask yourself, any more and you may miss the point of this exercise. If there was a level playing-field and no income potential yet you still wanted to blog…what would it be about? Your responses to the above questions should help you discover that answer.

Of course, they aren’t really true as any blogging niche has money making potential, but what you have to see is that it is a bonus. If you aren’t writing on a topic you are truly passionate about then despite the potential of financial gain, you still won’t be happy or enjoy it.

Benefits of Blogging Your Passion

If enjoying the topic and sharing your expertise aren’t enough to show you the benefits of blogging about your passion, what else is there to gain? That’s simple. Just the exact opposites of the earlier bullet points:

  • You have value and expertise you can offer to others
  • You can share personal experiences that will help people relate to your content and connect with your words
  • You will be excited to share new thoughts and discoveries with your readers

What you’ll also start to notice is that you become an authority in your niche, and this is highly valuable. With this authority you can release products, offer coaching or set-up a popular paid membership site depending on your industry. This is so much harder to do in saturated markets where there is a lot of competition.

Need more proof there is potential in any niche?

Here are the top 10 blogs in the world according to Technorati:

  1. Huffington Post (General & Politics)
  2. TechCrunch (Web & Startup News)
  3. Gizmodo (Gadgets)
  4. Engadget (Gadgets)
  5. BoingBoing (Random / Weird News)
  6. Lifehacker (Productivity)
  7. Ars Technica (Technology News)
  8. ICanHasCheezburger (LOLCat Pictures)
  9. ReadWriteWeb (Web News & Trends)
  10. Mashable (Social Networking news)

Nothing about marketing, blogging or SEO which are all highly saturated due to people thinking they can make a lot of easy money. All of the websites have some authority status in their niche, whilst making a lot of money in the process. Michael Arrington has worked till 4am for years in order to get news out before anyone else and ensure that TechCrunch is the best source there is. Do you think he could do that if he generally didn’t have a passion for internet and startup related news?

So, what are YOU going to be writing about?

Glen Allsopp writes about finding the real you and expressing it through personal development at PluginID, a site that helps you ‘Plugin to your Identity’. You can help me help you by subscribing to the feed here.

Further Reading from the ProBlogger Archives on Choosing What to Blog About

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. I looked at the top 10/100 lists and reached an opposite conclusion: the market will support a relatively narrow range of blogging interests.

    The Huffington Post might seem an exception to that rule…but let’s remember that HP is a professional operation that no individual–no matter how passionate!–could hope to duplicate on their own.

  2. Blogging about what you are passionate about is what gets people to trust you.

  3. John says:

    Can contempt suffice instead of passion?

    What about humor as a cover for soul crushing hopelessness? Might that suffice for passion?

    lol.

  4. Noobpreneur says:

    Darren,

    Simple yet clear explanation. Blogging for money has been on my mind all the time, and yes – it’s simple to see what your passion is, by doing the 3-point exercise you mentioned.

    I’m proud to say that I’m happily blog at my Noobpreneur blog because I love it!

    Thanks Darren for the great post

  5. It’s just too much work to be highly successful at anything unless you are fully committed. Aligning what you do with your passion gives you the edge needed to master it.

    http://www.carbonoffsetsdaily.com is in a niche that is a sub-niche of my passion, helping our culture to be sustainable.

    This can keep me up till 4 AM so we can be the best news source for the carbon market.

    Check it out: Right now we’re running a contest where you can win $50 for the coolest comment.

    Cheers,

    Chris

  6. Isaac says:

    Thank you for your insights on this important topic. I have been thinking a lot about this topic. It does seem like a hard topic because so many have talked about it. I have had some success in my current growth and business because I am grasping how vision and passion can work together hand in hand. My vision is keeping me focused and as my passion fly all over my vision is able to keep me on track.
    Once again thank you for adding important insights to this process I’m in.

  7. Glen and Darren,

    This is an AMAZING feature. I quite like this point: “You will be excited to share new thoughts and discoveries with your readers”.

    When I think of things like internet marketing or stamp collection I cringe because I know that I would never have the passion necessary to blog on those topics for 1 week … let along one year!

    Thanks for this important reminder!

    Miss Gisele B.

  8. James Helms says:

    Great insight, I totally agree. It seems like a lot of people just start a blog and try monetizing it without any content or visitors to speak of. Perhaps they have read too many articles about how blogging is a way to get rich quick. It takes time to grow readership. If you concentrate on the content you may be able to keep the readers that visit, monetize later.
    That is what I am doing anyway, I plan on blogging long term and I don’t want to rush. If I didn’t like what I write about life would be a little less enjoyable. Thanks!

  9. NewsBar says:

    Our blog is everyday, local internet press, edited by civil journalists. This is our niche (only Polish version).

  10. HoomanCan says:

    Passion is the fuel that drives our burning desire to succeed. Without passion, it is easy to get burned out. That is why you must constantly find new ways to seek passion in your life. Here is a few tips on passion that I put together at http://hoomancan.com/blog/?p=28. Keep up the good work Darren.

  11. nick says:

    This is a great post and something I had trouble with myself. Not because I didn’t want to write about my passion, but because I had trouble deciding on how narrow or broad my blog would be. Basically I have too many passions. Currently, I have decided to focus on a few major items and include others as they seem appropriate.

  12. Hi Glen,

    I really like your post. So much so that I linked to it from my site. You make a lot of good points. I especially like the questions.

    As for myself, I chose writing for the money. And since I don’t have to work anymore, that is my passion – making money. I started trying to that about 6 or 7 years ago. So I write about what I have learned during that time. I am comfortable with that and that is as it should be.